Alice Cooper Finds Andy Warhol Silkscreen in Storage, Could be Worth Millions
Finding forgotten items packed away in storage is nothing new; usually it's a favorite T-shirt or, if you're lucky, some long lost vinyl of an old Sabbath record. Alice Cooper, however, has upped the discovery game by locating an Andy Warhol silkscreen that could potentially be worth millions of dollars!
"Alice got [the painting] as a birthday present, way back in the '70s when no one cared really about Andy -- he was just coming into his own," Cooper's manager Shep Gordon tells CNN.
"We spoke to Alice's mother who said she thought it was probably still in storage," Gordon continues. "It took us probably six months to get around to going through, because we have a lot of stuff in storage [from] all the old shows, [but] we found it."
The "Little Electric Chair" silkscreen, which measures 22" x 28" is taken from Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series, which explains why Cooper, with his predilection toward electrocuting and beheading himself during concerts, would be drawn to it.
Warhol saw one of those live performances and witnessed Cooper's theatrics which included getting electrocuted in a chair identical to the one in the artist's print. According to Gordon, it was Cooper's girlfriend Cindy Lang who approached Warhol in the early '70s to purchase a print, which was originally done in 1964 or 1965 and based on a press photo of the death chamber at Sing Sing prison.
“As I recall,” he tells the Guardian, “Cindy came to me for $2,500 for the painting. At the time Alice is making two albums a year and touring the rest of the time. It was a rock ’n’ roll time, none of us thought about anything. He ends up going into an insane asylum for his drinking and then leaves New York for L.A."
“Alice says he remembers having a conversation with Warhol about the picture," Gordon adds. "He thinks the conversation was real, but he couldn’t put his hand on a Bible and say that it was.”
The print may fetch a pretty penny or two on the auction circuit, as similar Warhol works have sold for around $10 million. However, there are many fakes of Warhol prints out there, but with Cooper's celebrity and known friendship with the artist, it wouldn't be difficult to authenticate, says Richard Polsky, a Warhol expert.
“I’m 100%,” Polsky tells the Guardian of the legitimacy of the piece. “It looks right, and the story just makes too much sense. It’s hard to appreciate how little Warhol’s art was worth at the time. Twenty-five hundred was the going rate at the time. Why would Andy give him a fake?"
Gordon has taken the work to Polsky for an estimate, but says that when Cooper finishes touring later this year, he'll likely hang the print in his home.
“Truthfully, at the time no one thought it had any real value,” Gordon says. “Andy Warhol was not ‘Andy Warhol’ back then. And it was all a swirl of drugs and drinking. But you should have seen Alice’s face when Richard Polsky’s estimate came in. His jaw dropped and he looked at me [and said], ‘Are you serious? I own that!’”
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